Dec 29, 2021, 10:09 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 84595510
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Pakistan national flag carrier resumes flights to Mashhad after five years hiatus

Islamabad, IRNA -- Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has resumed direct flight to the holy city of Mashhad after a five-year hiatus in order to develop people to people contacts and boost religious tourism with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The development took place following the serious efforts of the Iranian Embassy in Islamabad to facilitate air travel between the two neighboring countries and to boost the tourism industry.

Earlier this month Chief Executive of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Malik during a meeting with Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mohammad Ali Hosseini had announced that the PIA is going to start direct flights from Lahore to Mashhad.

PIA Spokesperson Abdullah Khan told IRNA that the PIA flight departed from Lahore to Mashhad on Wednesday at 23:19 p.m. from Allama Iqbal International Airport and is scheduled to arrive in Mashhad at 01:14 a.m. early Thursday. A cake was also cut on the occasion with the presence of Pakistani officials and staff of the Iranian Embassy.

He said the return flight from Mashhad to Lahore will depart on 30th December, Thursday, 02:30 a.m. Iran local time and land at Lahore airport at 06:30 a.m.

Ambassador Hosseini in a tweet had also revealed that Iran and Pakistan had agreed on increasing efforts to promote air cooperation between Iran and Pakistan. In this regards, PIA is going to begin direct flights from Karachi to Mashhad on Jan 1, 2022.

Currently, Iran Air operates one weekly flight from Tehran to Karachi and vice versa, and there are reports that Mahan Iran Airlines will resume flights from Tehran and Mashhad to Lahore.

Lahore is one of the important cities of Pakistan and is known as the 'cultural heart' of the country, so the resumption of these flights can be an effective step in the development of bilateral relations between Iran and Pakistan.

Also, the launch of direct Karachi-Mashhad flights will increase movement of different groups of the two neighbors to each other's countries, including pilgrims to holy places in Iran, and exchange of trade and commerce delegations.

272**1424

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